The brainchild of Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team at From Software, the Souls games have gained a rabid cult following over the past few years. The newest spiritual successor Bloodborne (trailer 1, 2) has been out for a couple weeks now, and it's received stellar reviews across the board. It might very well be the best in the series, reconfiguring the dense gameplay in surprising ways and offering up an intricately-realized Victorian gothic world. Tim Rogers has written a lengthy, articulate, spoiler-free (in a narrative sense) analysis of Bloodborne's design - You Are the Experience Points. [more inside]
Button mashing doesn't work with either title, nor does standing still and holding the block button down.
Starting the game at a higher than normal difficulty introduces the concept of "Darwinian Difficulty", which can be summarized by the motto "adapt or die."Exploring the lack of a difficulty curve via diamond-hard games Ninja Gaiden Black and Demon's Souls.
Dark Souls, the spiritual sequel to 2009's Demon's Souls (previously 1, 2) and heir to the series of games, is out in most of the world this week. Reviews have been excellent, sales have been surprisingly robust; Dark Souls was the top selling title in Japan last week, with 279,567 copies sold, compared to an estimated 40,000 for Demon's Souls first week of release. From Software has taken an interesting approach to players who somehow acquire the game early: rather than banning the player outright or limited online features, From Software is embracing Dark Souls' unique multiplayer model, sending super leveled invaders into player's games to hunt them mercilessly. [more inside]
Demon's Souls, an action-RPG from Atlus, is the most notoriously difficult videogame of this generation (previously). If the game was too brutal for you to finish, this should add insult to injury: someone's completed it in just 54 minutes. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. [more inside]
"Demon's Souls, an Atlus-published action-RPG out this week on the PS3, is way too hard for you. We say this without knowing a thing about your skills and with no equivocation." was released this week in North America, and its reviewers are coming to terms with its staggering difficulty level. [more inside]